Ecological Monitoring, Great Basin Institute

Locations vary

Job Title: Ecological Monitoring Field Position

Organization: Great Basin Institute

Type of opportunity: GBI is recruiting Ecological Monitoring Field Technicians to work with agency staff, GBI staff, and a GBI Ecological Monitoring Field Lead. Each Field Technician will participate in a field crew (one Lead and two Technicians) to characterize vegetation using the terrestrial AIM protocol, Describing/Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (D/IIRH), the Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) protocol, and/or the Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) protocol, for which training will be provided. The particular protocols implemented will vary by location.


Duties include following established field protocols to conduct vegetation sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites. Field data will be used by resource specialists and land managers to inform decisions regarding range management and other resource management issues of the area. During periods of fieldwork, camping will be required.

Field work will include:

  • Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
  • Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
  • Establishing sampling plots and transects;
  • Identifying and describing soil horizons;
  • Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, forb frequency, sagebrush shape, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights);
  • Making qualitative range assessments; and
  • Taking photo-points.

Additional duties include:

  • Participation in GBI and agency training;
  • Entering data into and managing an Access-based database;
  • Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys; and
  • Employing extensive QA/QC data checks.

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience, education, or a combination of the two in natural resources and field data collection to meet one or both of the following:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences, such as: Botany, Wildlife Biology, Range Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Resources or related subject;
  • Minimum of 1 year field data collection

 Technical requirements:

  • Coursework or equivalent experience in plant taxonomy and/or systematics;
  • Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
  • Experience in describing and identifying soil horizons preferred;
  • Experience conducting plant surveys using various monitoring protocols, including standard rangeland monitoring protocols, photo plots, and site observations;
  • Experience with data entry and management;
  • Ability to read, interpret and navigate using topographic maps;
  • Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads;
  • Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
  • Experience creating maps and performing basic functions with GIS software (ArcMap), preferred; and
  • Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access).

 Additional requirements:

  • Willingness and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, and toconsistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the goals and objectives of the AIM program and the mission of GBI;
  • Valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record;
  • Ability to complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) and submit paperwork to BLM human resources prior to beginning position indicating that an active and fully adjudicated BI has been started or completed;
  • Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
  • Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with team members, agency staff, and a diverse public;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Familiarity with best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles;
  • Experience in and willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field;
  • Flexibility with position location within field district offices
  • Willingness to work irregular hours (e.g., early mornings, late nights); and
  • Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition.

Start and end dates: Locations and timelines listed below are tentative, some with potential for extension. Please indicate your availability and top three location choices when applying. We encourage applying early in order to gain the best chance at getting your top-choice locations.

  • California
    • Susanville; crews based out of Reno, NV: April – September/October
  • Utah
    • Salt Lake City, Fillmore, Vernal, Price, Richfield, Moab, Monticello; crews based out of Salt Lake City, UT: April – September
    • Cedar City, St. George, Kanab, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; crews based out of Las Vegas: April- September (St. George starts March)
  • Nevada
    • Reno, Carson City, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, Ely; crews based out of Reno and/or Elko, NV TBD: expected dates mid-April to September, potential for several crews to begin earlier
    • Las Vegas/southern NV; crews based out of Las Vegas: March-June/July
  • Washington
    • Spokane, Wenatchee: April – October
  • Wyoming
    • Lander, Rawlins, Kemmerer, Pinedale: April – September


  • $15/hour
  • $15/night Camping per diem
  • $75/week Housing stipend
  • Paid holidays and personal leave
  • Paid health insurance (medical, dental and vision)

How to apply: Apply here –